The school: A place for children’s creativity?


This paper will discuss children's creativity as a special kind of giftedness and as a prerequisite for full development of children's potentialities. It will especially focus on school effects on children's creative development. It is assumed that one of the most powerful ways in which a culture encourages or discourages creativity is the way by which teachers and the school reward or punish certain personality characteristics as they develop in children and manifest themselves in children's behaviour. This presentation summarises the experience the author has in studying children's creative thinking abilities and teachers' attitudes towards children's creativity in the Bulgarian educational and cultural context. The empirical data to be examined come from research concerned with 1) self-concept, motivation and values of secondary students with outstanding achievements in the arts and sciences; 2) development and evaluation of children's creative abilities as they are measured by Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking; 3) teachers' perception of the Ideal Pupil and its relation to creative personality traits. Conclusions will be drawn with respect to the following questions: What aspects of children's creativity are supported and what is neglected in the regular classroom setting? What kind of creative abilities are to be most easily misidentified? How teachers' lay conceptions of creativity influence children's creative behaviour

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